By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Nov 24, 2003 at 5:42 AM Photography: Neil Kiekhofer of Front Room Photography

{image1}While a fast food chain may claim that a better brand of beef makes its butter burger better, a better brand of bun coupled with a better brand of beef truly makes a burger the best.

Sobelman's Pub and Grill, 1900 W. St. Paul Ave., not only serves up greater downtown's best burger but they do it in an environment that's cleaner than any corner bar you've ever seen.

Perched on the corner of 19th and St. Paul in a former Schlitz tavern, Sobelman's has been serving burgers since 1999. With about 10 tables and 25 seats at the bar, it's a cozy joint with nice owners, Dave and Melanie, and smell that could only come from black angus beef, Breadsmith buns and the several visible Renuzit air fresheners sprinkled around the pub.

Dave Sobelman started his "career" at the old Boulevard Inn where he learned the importance of quality and a great staff. "I have a lot of pride, and what we do is the best," he told us. "I have a great staff and we are all working together to restore this amazing tavern while serving the city's best burger."

The service at Sobelman's is friendly, and they actually clean off the salt and pepper shakers, wipe down the tables and whisk away any crusty ketchup on the bottle. So, we've established this as a clean joint without even mentioning the meticulous bathrooms, but what about the food?

{image2}"Milwaukee's Best Burger," boasts the sign out front. Truth in signage here; Sobelman's tells not a lie. The Sobelman Burger is 1/3-pound of black angus beef, three cheeses, jalapenos and fried onion. At $5.50 with a side of fries, it's a good buy and is served on a simple, white plate that is neither too small or too large, exactly like the portion size of the burger.

Sobelman's burgers are simple, but like J-Lo, would be nothing without the buns. Fresh Breadsmith rolls surround each of the 10 burgers on the menu and they are simply amazing. No adjectives can do them justice; you must taste and see for yourself.

Other than the Amtrak, the Post Office, the DOT Vehicle Emissions Center, and the lines of small manufacturing shops that drape the neighborhood, there's probably no other reason to tour St. Paul Ave. "We're the last of what used to be 30 bars in the Valley," Sobelman told us. But, Sobelman's is the only reason you need and it's a short shot from downtown, and even somewhat on your way to Potawatomi. It's simple, clean, cozy and great.

Call Sobelman's at (414) 931-1919.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.